By Sara Vargas
In support of National Blood Donor Month, the Wellness Center and the American Red Cross are hosting a blood drive 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., today through Thursday, in the Ursa Minor room at the Bronco Student Center.
Students can sign up in person at a table located on the first floor of the Bronco Student Center or go online to schedule an appointment.
The national event recognizes the contribution of blood and platelet donors all around the world while also encouraging individuals to donate blood during a time when donations decrease.
During the winter, blood donations drop because cold weather often results in seasonal illnesses such as the flu.
These illnesses prevent many people from being able to donate blood.
The Wellness Center on campus partners up with the American Red Cross to promote monthly blood drives in order to increase donations among the college community.
In addition to Cal Poly Pomona students, these blood drives invite Pomona locals and students from other colleges in the area to take part.
“We do our best to promote all of our blood drives in various settings with posters, information tables and access to the Wellness Center for students to learn about the benefits and to make appointments,” said Jonathan Martinez (’16, kinesiology), an administrative assistant at the Wellness Center.
Once the blood is donated, there is a four-step process that occurs before it is distributed to hospitals.
The first step is the initial blood donation, which is approximately one pint.
The blood is then spun to separate the red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
The third step focuses on testing the blood to indicate the blood type and to test for possible infectious diseases.
Following the tests, the units of blood that are safe are labeled and stored in appropriate refrigerators for varying lengths of time.
According to the American Red Cross, blood donations are used for blood transfusions and to treat medical conditions including blood disorders and cancer.
They are also vital elements in cardiac and emergency surgeries.
“Since the blood drive is hosted on campus, it is a lot more convenient for students to take time out of their busy schedules to donate for a good cause,” said Martinez.
People donate blood for various reasons.
Alison Keshishian, a fourth-year communication student, thinks it is important to give back.
“Donating blood is important because it helps those in need,” said Keshishian. “I may not know who the blood is going to, but that feeling of helping someone is worth it.”
This month, Omega Psi Phi is also joining the event.
“As a fraternity, we have hosted many blood drives with the American Red Cross and Wellness Center before, and we just want to continue this tradition,” said fraternity President Armond Davis, a fifth-year industrial engineering student.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Photo from the past blood drives courtesy of The Wellness Center
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